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Book Review: Chaos Down Under

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Title: Chaos Down Under
Author: Nishant Kaushik
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Genre: Fiction/Corporate Comedy
Price: Rs. 295
Pages: 277

This is the second book of the chaos trilogy, written by Nishant Kaushik. Apparently his first book, 'A Romance With Chaos' was a best seller; but sadly I had not heard of it nor of the writer. This book revolves around Nakul Kapoor and his career at a Telecom firm called Bytesphere. And like most of the other Indian protagonists so far, he also is plagued by bad luck. The girl he loves, does not love him back. His boss hates him and doesn't approve his reimbursements on time. Such is this man's glory that one day he receives a call from a recruitment company asking him to take up an interview at, wait a minute, Bytesphere! This incident is soon forgotten and then, his boss Chirayu Chaudhary is asking him to head a team to resurrect the dying relationship with their Australian client Oz-Mobil (How creative!). This is a task near to impossible, but since there is no one else willing to do it, it is handed to him. The entire book is all about how he builds a team, impresses the client and wins the love of his lady. Yes, this book has all the necessities required for a typical bollywood flick. I can already see Sajid Khan acquiring the rights of this book.

Writing humor is an art. Obviously not everyone is P.G Wodehouse, but there needs to be some subtlety while using words like asshole, fuck, slut and ass at every page. Sadly, this book is not so subtle. I do not mind the language but the incessant use of it was certainly annoying. It is a corporate drama alright, but the story in the book is only enough to fill around fifty pages. The plot is cliched, and some characters are caricatures. Nakul Kapoor is someone whom you can never feel for, unless the feeling is anger or sheer irritation. He seemed like a decent guy at first, but when he thinks of pushing an entire beehive into his manager's buttocks, I changed my mind. Yes, that actually happens within the first thirty pages of the book. Also what is more annoying is the constant references to the first book. I am sure had I read the first book, I would not have picked up this one. As a stand alone, this book is silly and irritatingly long. I wanted to put this book down after a few chapters, but I wanted to do justice to this review. Sigh, if only I did not take my writing that seriously.

The only good thing about this book are the names of its chapters, like Benetton, Jordan, Cheesecake, Curry Boys etc. They are catchy, weird and interesting. But sadly, no chapter lives up to its name. The other guy in this book is Sameer, the other contender for Mehek, the girl who Nakul is in love with. Duh! Sameer's character is as irrelevant as the book and he appears and disappears at regular intervals. After the first half that takes place in Mumbai, the second half moves to the client location Australia. I hoped that this will lift the book with maybe a third angle, but sadly none appears. In all honesty, the story does have potential. But like I said before, only to hold about fifty pages. If you are reading a book that has more than two hundred and fifty pages, you expect more and not just two interconnected story lines. And these two stories are nothing but the professional and personal lives of the protagonist. Even the girl in question, Mehek seems very ordinary and boring. If Nakul is so crazily in love with her, then there must be something about her right?

Among all the characters, only two characters were worth mentioning. Suresh Shah, Nakul's technically handicapped neighbor and Chirayu, Nakul's pain in the ass manager. Both these characters are the only ones that provide decent bouts of humor and that too in impromptu bursts. The way the south Indian girl Radha Murthy was shown, was terrible. You just cannot typecast someone like that. Akshat was a decent character too, I wish there was more of him in the story.

The meek highlight of this book is the language. Although it uses a lot of crass words and expletives, the English is decent and much much better than a few Indian books that I have read recently. There are a lot of attempts at sarcasm, but most of them fall flat never to rise again. The cover of the book is interesting, it speaks immensely about the humor that the book is supposed to carry. But then again, never judge a book by its cover. Right? Oh so right.

Verdict: If humor to you means Sajid Khan, then you can pick this up.
Rating: 2 out of 5, and I'm being really generous here.

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  1. hahah! another book ripped apart! Nice review! i hate such books that use the decorative words liberally for reading such a literature is really irritating. I will definitely not go for this book!

  2. I too thought the cover was interesting! Thanks to you, I escaped this one. Apparently bestseller is a name that's given every other book that comes out in print these days!

    Good one Leo! And Happy Diwali to you and Cal!

    1. Ah lucky you!

      Thank you Kay, happy Diwali to you and Guruprasad too!

  3. Haha.. I like your 'verdict'!! I think I need to read Indian authors to get a confidence boost :)

  4. Sajid Khan humor is not my type ... so may be I won't pick this up :-/

    Happy Diwali :-)


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